Tiger Beat: Fresno zoo cubs get shots, micro-chips

March 10, 2014 

The tiger cubs at Fresno Chaffee Zoo hate getting shots. Who likes them, right?

Just like any kid, the cubs -- Berani, Cinta, Arya and Batari -- fussed when they received their first vaccination shots and were micro-chipped. They hissed, growled and tried to wriggle from a zoo worker's grasp.

Berani, whose name in the Malay language means "courage" and "brave," also swiped with his right paw.

But it was time. The American Association of Zoos and Aquariums recommends a series of vaccinations, starting at eight weeks old. The Fresno cubs were born Jan. 5.

They began with the feline upper respiratory complex vaccination that is also given to house cats. A short needle is used for the injection in the back of the neck.

"Usually, they don't mind that," says Lewis Wright, the zoo's veterinarian.

But a larger needle is used for the micro-chipping, which is administered mainly for legality issues. That one hurts a lot!

"It'd be great if they didn't hate it so much," Wright says. "Nobody likes getting shots."

Less than five minutes each -- and the cubs were done.

The reporter can be reached at rorozco@fresnobee.com or (559) 441-6304.

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